They came to tear up his last garden.
The sewage men from the County were not happy
to find their excavations watched
by the old man in bib overalls.
I, who was five years old, his namesake and his roommate,
remember nothing of the garden, only what came after,
clumps and wheel-ruts baked to permanence
in the summer sun, ideal for games with dark
green plastic tanks and soldiers. My brothers
had fireworks, and their battle climaxed
in a bonfire of plastic fighter planes.
Soon he was gone, and I found myself
with a room to myself for the first time. At the funeral,
somebody bought me a Hostess apple pie.
I remember its reassuring gloppy sour sweetness,
the flakes of sugar coating and the crust
that left on the tongue, like memory itself,
a persistent lardy film.
Roy White is a blind person who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with a lovely woman and a handsome dog. His poems and essays have appeared in BOAAT Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Lascaux Review and elsewhere, and he blogs at https://lippenheimer.wordpress.com.